MOUNT CARMEL’S PERSPECTIVE ON MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY, & GENDER IDENTITY
There is a diversity of opinion within the church and society regarding the issues surrounding marriage and human sexuality. Many people have strong opinions about these issues. Mount Carmel’s faith statement includes a brief statement about Mount Carmel’s perspectives on these issues. Because many people are concerned about these issues, we have decided to include a longer statement here.
Not everybody who comes to Mount Carmel agrees with our views on marriage, sexuality, and gender identity. We welcome you whether you agree or not. We do ask and expect our teachers, preachers, and summer ministry staff to honor Mount Carmel’s perspective on these issues in all teaching at Mount Carmel for both adults and youth.
Mount Carmel affirms the following statements on these issues. These statements are based upon the traditional understanding of God’s Word and the overwhelming consensus of Christian churches for the last two thousand years. We affirm and celebrate God’s design for marriage, identity, and vocation.
- Jesus Christ, quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, declared, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matt.19:4, Mark 10:6-7) The apostle Paul, addressing husbands and wives, quoted the same passage in his letter to the church at Ephesus (5:31). We believe these to be a clear summary of the Biblical basis of human sexuality and marriage.
- According to the Bible, God made humans as male and female, so differences between the two genders are God-given and must be valued and protected.
- We believe and confess that the marriage of male and female is an institution created and blessed by God. From marriage, God forms families to serve as the building blocks of human civilization and community, for it was God who commanded our first parents to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen.1:28) We teach and practice that sexual activity belongs exclusively within the Biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage between one man and one woman. Mount Carmel’s housing policies and wedding policies are based on this belief. When sex is the expression of married love, it seeks the mutual fulfillment and joy of both husband and wife.
- Living in a fallen world, tainted by sin, leads to brokenness, including brokenness in the areas of marriage, human sexuality, and family life.
- God’s Word comes to us in Law and Gospel. In all areas of life, the Law shows us our sin and the Gospel brings the wonderful news of forgiveness through the death of Jesus. There is an opportunity for repentance, for changing perspectives, and for a New Life.
We welcome all people at Mount Carmel. We believe God welcomes all people equally. We don’t reject any individuals or any groups of people. We believe that certain behaviors are wrong because they conflict with the Bible’s teaching about the reality of God’s Creation. We do not reject individuals because of their behavior. We encourage all to hear God’s Word.
We want to be faithful at Mount Carmel in proclaiming the Truth in God’s Word. We want to be faithful in proclaiming the Love and Grace of God in welcoming all people. We want to support and encourage people as they struggle with these issues. May God help us all to live in the grace and forgiveness and acceptance of our Lord Jesus!
Continue by reading about how Mount Carmel was given its name.